GENEVA BIBLE 1599
The Bible of the Pilgrims who founded America and also the Bible of the Reformation.
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1 Furthermore (1) there was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a captain of the band called the Italian band,
(1) Peter consecrateth the firstfruits of the Gentiles to God by the means of two miracles.
2 A (a) devout man, and (*) one that feared God with (b) all his household, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed God continually.
(a) So that he worshipped one God, and was no idolater, neither could he be void of faith in Christ, because he was a devout man but as yet he knew not that he was come.
(*) Who had forsaken all superstitions, and gave himself to
the true service of God.
(b) This is a great commendation to this man, that he labored to have all his household and familiar friends and acquaintances to be religious and godly.
3 He saw in a vision evidently (about the ninth hour of the day) an Angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius.
4 But when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, (c) What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are (d) come (*) up into (e) remembrance before God.
(c) What wilt thou with me, Lord? For he
settleth himself to hear.
(d) This is a borrowed kind of speech, which the Hebrews used very much, taken from sacrifices, and applied to prayers; for it is said of whole burnt sacrifices, that the smoke and savor of them goeth up into God's nostrils; so do our prayers as a sweet smelling sacrifice which the Lord taketh great pleasure in.
(*) That is, God did accept them; whereof it followeth that
he had faith, for else it is impossible to please God.
(e) That is, in so much that they will not suffer God as it were, to forget thee; for so doeth the Scripture use oftentimes to prattle with us as nurses do with little children, when they frame their tongues to speak.
5 Now therefore send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose surname is Peter.
6 He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the seaside; (*) he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do.
(*) He shall speak words unto thee whereby thou shalt be saved and all thine house.
7 And when the Angel which spake unto Cornelius, was departed, he called two of his servants, and a soldier that feared God, one of them that waited on him,
8 And told them all things, and sent them to Joppa.
9 On the morrow as they went on their journey, and drew near unto the city, Peter went up upon the house to pray, about the (*) sixth hour.
(*) Which was midday.
10 Then waxed he ahungered, and would have eaten; but while they made something ready, he fell into a (f) trance.
(f) For though Peter stand not amazed as one that is tongue tied, but talketh with God, and is instructed in his mysteries, yet his mind was far otherwise than it was wont to be, but shortly returned to the old bent.
11 And he saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel come down unto him, as it had been a great sheet, knit at the (g) four corners, and was let down to the earth.
(g) So that it seemed to be a four square sheet.
12 Wherein were (h) (*) all manner of (i) four footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts and (k) creeping things, and fowls of the heaven.
(h) Here is this word (All) which is general, plainly put for an indefinite and uncertain, that is to say, for some of all sorts, not for all of every sort.
(*) As camels, horses, dogs, oxen, sheep, swine and such
like which man nourisheth for his use.
(i) That is, such as were meet for men's use.
(k) What is meant by these creeping things, Look at Leviticus 11 .
13 And there came a voice to him, Arise, Peter, kill, and eat.
14 (2) But Peter said, Not so, Lord, for I have never eaten anything that is (*) polluted, or unclean.
(2) Peter profiteth daily in the knowledge of the benefit of Christ, yea, after that he had received the holy Ghost.
(*) Or, common.
(*) In taking away the difference between unclean beats and clean he sheweth there is no difference between the Jews and Gentiles.
(l) Do not consider them to be unprofitable.
(♣) Take it not for polluted and impure.
16 This was so done thrice, and the vessel was drawn up again into heaven.
17 ∂ Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen, meant, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius, had inquired for Simonís house, and stood at the gate,
18 And called, and asked, whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there.
19 And while Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.
20 Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, and (*) doubt nothing, for I have sent them.
(*) The true obedience which proceedeth of faith, ought to be without doubt or questioning.
21 ∂ Then Peter went down to the men, which were sent unto him from Cornelius, and said, Behold, I am he whom ye seek; what is the cause wherefore ye are come?
22 And they said, Cornelius the captain, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from heaven by a holy Angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear thy words.
23 Then called (*) he them in, and lodged them. And the next day, Peter went forth with them, and certain brethren from Joppa accompanied him.
(*) Or, Peter.
24 ∂ And the day after, they entered into Caesarea. Now Cornelius waited for them, and had called together his kinsmen, and special friends.
25 (3) And it came to pass as Peter came in, that Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and (*) worshipped him.
(3) Religious adoration of worship agreeth only to God, but civil worship is given to the Ministers of the word, although not without danger.
(*) Shewed to much reverence, and far passing decent order, as though Peter had been God.
26 But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; for even I myself am a man.
27 And as he talked with him, he came in, and found many that were come together.
28 And he said unto them, Ye know that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew, to company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me, that I should not call any man (*) polluted, or unclean.
(*) Or, common.
29 Therefore came I unto you without saying nay, when I was sent for. I ask therefore, for what intent have ye sent for me?
30 Then Cornelius said, Four days ago, about (m) this hour, I fasted, and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,
(m) He meaneth not the selfsame hour, but the like, that is, about nine of the clock the other day, as it was then nine when he spake to Peter.
31 (4) And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.
(4) Cornelius' faith sheweth forth itself by prayer and charity.
32 (5) Send therefore to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose surname is Peter (he is lodged in the house of Simon a tanner by the seaside) who when he cometh, shall speak unto thee.
(5) As faith cometh by hearing, so it is nourished and groweth up by the same.
33 Then sent I for thee immediately, and thou hast well done to come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.
34 (6) Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive, that (n) (*) God is no acceptor of persons.
(6) Distinction of nations is taken away by the coming of Christ; And it is evidently seen by faith and righteousness, who is agreeable to him, or whom he accepteth.
(n) That God judgeth not after the outward appearance.
(*) Deuteronomy 10:17; 2 Chronicles 19:7; Job 34:19; Romans 2:11; Galatians 2:6; Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 3:25; 1 Peter 1:17 .
35 But in every nation he that (o) (*) feareth him, and worketh (♣) righteousness, is accepted with him.
(o) By the fear of God, the Hebrews understand the whole service of God; whereby we perceive that Cornelius was not void of faith, no more than they were which lived before Christ's time; and therefore they deal foolishly, which build preparative works and free will upon this passage.
(*) By this speech the Hebrews mean the whole religion of God, which without faith profiteth us nothing.
(♣) That is, he that is upright and doeth hurt to no man, but doeth good to all.
36 Ye (p) know the word which God hath sent to the children of Israel, (*) preaching peace by Jesus Christ, which is Lord of all;
(p) God gave the Israelites to understand, that whosoever liveth godly, is acceptable to God, of what nation forever he be, for he preached peace to men through Jesus Christ, who is Lord not of one nation only, that is, of the Jews, but of all.
(*) Meaning the reconciliation between God and man through Christ Jesus, Luke 2:14 .
37 (7) Even the word which came through all Judea, (*) beginning in Galilee, after the baptism which John preached.
(7) The sum of the Gospel (which shall be made manifest at the latter day when Christ himself shall sit as judge both of the quick and the dead) is this, that Christ promised to the Fathers, and exhibited in his time with the mighty power of God, (which was by all means shewed) and at length crucified to reconcile us to God, did rise again the third day, that whoever believeth in him should be saved through the remission of sins.
(*) Luke 4:14 .
38 To wit, how God (q) (*) anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the holy Ghost, and with power, who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil, for God was with him.
(q) This style is taken from an old custom of the Jews, who used to anoint their Kings and Priests, whereupon it grew, to call them anointed, upon whom God bestowed gifts and virtues.
(*) That is, endued him with graces and gifts above all others.
39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem, whom they slew, hanging him on a tree.
40 Him God raised up the third day, and caused that he was shewed openly;
41 Not to all the people, but unto the witnesses (r) chosen before of God, even to us which did eat and drink with him, after he arose from the dead.
(r) This choosing of the Apostles is properly given to God; for though God be president in the lawful election of ministers, yet there is in this place a secret opposition and setting of God's choosing, and men's voices the one against the other, for the Apostles are immediately appointed of God, and the Church Ministers by means.
42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify, that it is he that is ordained of God a judge of quick and dead.
43 To him also give all the (*) Prophets witness, that through his Name all that believe in him, shall receive remission of sins.
(*) Jeremiah 31:34; Micah 7:18; Acts 15:9 .
44 (8) While Peter yet spake these words, the holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
(8) The Spirit of God sealeth that in the heart of the hearers, which the minister of the word speaketh by the commandment of God, as it appeareth by the effects.
45 So they of the circumcision, which believed, were astonied, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the holy Ghost.
46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,
47 (9) Can any man (*) forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the holy Ghost, as well as we?
(9) Baptism doth not sanctify or make them holy which receive it, but sealeth up and confirmeth their sanctification.
(*) We ought not to debar them of baptism whom God testifieth to be his; for seeing they have the principal, that is less, ought not to be denied them.
48 So he commanded them to be baptized in the Name of the Lord (*) . Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.
(*) Jesus Christ.
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1 Corinthians 14:8
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